They have been born or finished school in Greece. They hang out at the same places that other Greeks do and they share the same concerns. They talk, they think, they even dream in Greek. However, this group lives in limbo, deprived of Greek citizens’ rights.
These are about 200,000 children and young adults, born and raised in Greece from immigrant parents, whom the Greek state refuses to recognize as its own. By not having a Greek citizenship, these children are simply considered immigrants in their own country. Whereas, at the same time, in most E.U. countries, children with immigrant background, immediately acquire the nationality of the country that they have been born in.
Being a child with an immigrant background in Greece, means that you don’t have the right to vote and/or be elected, since you’re not considered a Greek citizen, thus you have no political rights. You need a residence permit in order to live legally in the country in which you were born and raised and you have to live and risk, that at any moment, you may be deported to a country which you have only heard from your parents or maybe from school. The things mentioned above, are just some of the problems that an invisible generation is facing in Greece.
In June 2015, Greek government passed a law trying to fill the gap in legislation and give the right of Greek citizenship to children of immigrant background that were born and/or attended school in Greece. However, this law has never been applied so far due to the famous Greek bureaucracy.
Socrates Baltagiannis was born in Athens, Greece in 1979. Although photography was always in the back of his head, he studied and worked as a graphic designer until 2011. A self-taught photographer, in 2009 he began taking part in seminars and workshops on photography and photojournalism trying to expand his knowledge on the medium. Since then he has been working as a freelance photographer, mainly in the fields of photojournalism and documentary photography. Many of his images have been published in reputed and prominent newspapers and journals worldwide. At the moment he works as freelance for DPA (Deutsche Presse Agentur), UNHCR and Invision-images photo agency.